Mark Francis

New Paintings

11 October - 15 November 2003

The Kerlin Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new paintings by Mark Francis from 11 October to 15 November, 2003.


Francis belongs to a generation of primarily non-objective painters whose formal repertoire nevertheless draws considerable sustenance from a wide range of previously unavailable images now in general circulation due to the invention of the electron microscope as well as notable advances in telescopic technology. In Francis's case the obvious associations between microscopic images of spores and sperm and the fundamentals of creation, allied to an avid personal interest in mycology, clearly informed the paintings for which he first gained recognition in the early 1990s. Yet as early as 1993 he found it necessary to augment this formal vocabulary in order to confound an oversimplified reading of his paintings solely in these terms. This he did through the introduction of that quintessential compositional device of modernist abstraction, the grid. As he has noted, "the grid came about as a way of introducing a form that wouldn't have an obvious microscopic connection". It also helped to contextualize his painting art-historically. The introduction of the grid, and its development within his painting to encompass a richly suggestive array of networks, maps, road and rail systems, established an enlivening dynamic between the notion of order and apparent disorder, between the man-made and the natural, which has been subject to periodic readjustments within Francis's practice ever since.


Solo exhibitions include the City Art Gallery, Manchester, in 1995, Mary Boone Gallery, New York in 1997, Maureen Paley, London in 2000, Michael Kohn Gallery, Los Angeles, in 2003 and a highly acclaimed retrospective exhibition at Milton Keynes Gallery, London in 2000. He was included in the much debated exhibition of art from the Saatchi Collection 'Sensation', at the Royal Academy in London and the Brooklyn Academy in New York, and in the touring exhibition 'Absolut Vision: New British Painting in the 1990's'. He is represented in the collections of the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the Tate Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Saatchi Collection, the Metropolitan Museum, New York, the de Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco, the Museum of Modern Art, Miami, Deutsche Bank and American Express.